SPANISH MEP Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo has demanded Spain take the ‘golden opportunity’ of Brexit to renegotiate the status of Gibraltar.
Speaking to media in Aragon, the former Minister for Foreign Affairs said the moment was ‘historic’.
“We have to immediately negotiate the Gibraltar issue, if we miss this historical moment, the likes of which we have not seen since 1713, we will miss a golden opportunity,” he said ahead of a business lunch with members of the Plenary Session of the Chamber of Commerce of Zaragoza.
He also called for ‘huge investment’ into the Campo de Gibraltar.
“The truth is that many people in the Campo de Gibraltar are forced to work on the Rock because they have no opportunities outside of it,” he said, “they are afraid of change.”
Gibraltar, he said, could be the logistical base for European companies looking to invest in Morocco.
He added: “The solution we have proposed, which is co-sovereignty in foreign defence and immigration, double nationality, a statute of autonomy, and above all a special economic regime.
“It would be fantastic and easy and would give people work immediately, connecting the port of Algeciras with the Mediterranean corridor and a new airport.”
Co-sovereignty was already offered to Gibraltar by Tony Blair and roundly rejected in a referendum in 2002.
The MEP said Spain must speak to Gibraltar clearly and tell them that ‘if they want to stay in the EU, which they overwhelmingly do, only joining with Spain can provide that’.
Margallo was Spain’s Minister for Foreign Affairs between 2011 and 2016 when he caused six-hour queues at the frontier under Mariano Rajoy and his Popular Party.
The situation got to a head when Fabian Picardo famously told him ‘No Way Jose’ in that infamous headline in The Sun newspaper.
Gibraltar will leave the EU alongside the UK this year.